As the children go back to school and you start stocking up on the things they need, don’t forget to include products that support their health! A new school year often means the children are exposed to a whole host of bugs, coughs and colds, so the more prepared you are the better, to help keep them healthy through the autumn and winter.
The main areas to support their health for school are :
- Immune health
- Brain health – eg concentration, focus, memory and moods and also anxiety
- Energy Levels
Here are some tips to help support those areas…
Top 10 Tips for your children
1. Don’t skip breakfast! – having a healthy breakfast that includes protein, will keep energy levels and concentration levels going for a lot longer and will set your children up for the day. Try some of these:
- Boiled eggs and toast / avocado on toast with seeds sprinkled on top.
- Natural yoghurt, fresh fruit and nuts/seeds. Add raw honey or Manuka honey
- Granola – choose one with a low sugar content or make your own (actually very easy – we have recipes and ingredients!)
- Toast with peanut butter (no added sugar or salt) or almond nut butter. Add fruit spread or raw honey if desired.
- Porridge – try with chopped banana and peanut butter, or mush in raspberries for pink porridge! Add nuts or seeds on top and drizzle with raw honey.
2. Have healthy lunch boxes and snacks – to keep energy levels going for longer and help prevent those afternoon slumps from low blood sugar levels. Include protein (eg chicken, eggs, cheese, tuna, salmon, ham, chickpeas, tofu, lentils or almond nut butter (if nuts are allowed)). Add in vegetables (or vegetable soup), some fruit and complex carbohydrates (eg oat cakes, brown rice or wholemeal or rye bread (if gluten is tolerated))
3. Eat Omega 3 rich foods – from oily fish (eg salmon, sardines, mackerel). Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid is vital for healthy brain function. Vegetarian sources include flaxseed, hemp seed, chia seed and walnuts.
4. Hydrate – drinking water is important to help concentration levels and help brain function in general.
5. Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates – as these can hinder the immune system! They also disrupt blood sugar levels which affect energy levels, concentration and mood. Instead opt for natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, stevia or xylitol (in small doses). Adding cinnamon is also a good way to naturally sweeten food.
6. Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables – aim for 8 portions a day, with more vegetables than fruit. Variety is key, to ensure a wide range of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to keep the immune system strong.
7. Include garlic in cooking – as it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Crush it and leave for 10-15 mins before adding to your cooking, to allow the active compound allicin, (which has the therapeutic benefits), to be fully released.
8. Have Organic Chicken Soup – use homemade chicken stock or buy organic bone broth (available fresh and frozen in store). Add in some left over cooked chicken and vegetables for a nourishing and restorative soup. Make in advance and have ready to hand for those days when the children are unwell. Add in noodles for a family meal.
9. Avoid Dairy – if unwell, as it can be mucous forming. Try dairy free alternatives for yoghurt, milk and cheese (made from coconut, almond, rice or organic soya). We have plenty of choice in our store, both as chilled and long life products.
10. Get enough sleep! – sleep is a restorative time and adequate levels are needed for moods and concentration as well as immune health. Switch off from ‘screens’ (TV, phone, ipad etc) as much time before bed as possible!
What can we take?
The following can either be taken at the onset of any cough, cold or flu like virus or taken through the winter months as a more preventative measure:
- Elderberry – has anti-viral properties
- Vitamin C – has anti-viral properties
- Zinc – essential nutrient for the immune system
- Vitamin D – essential nutrient for the immune system
- Probiotics – (beneficial bacteria). More than 70% of the immune system is in the gut so these are a vital part of the immune system
- Beta Glucans – (from mushrooms) shown to support the immune system
- Echinacea – a herb, traditionally used for cold and flu viruses
For tummy bugs
- Saccharomyces Boulardii – This is a beneficial yeast, classed as a probiotic, to support diarrhoea caused by a tummy bug.
- Probiotics – Beneficial bacteria
- Silicia Gastrointestinal Gel – used for diarrhoea, stomach ache, nausea and vomiting. Silicea helps to bind the responsible pathogens.
For focus, concentration, memory and moods
- Omega 3 fish oil – (available in liquid, chewables, jellies or capsules).
- A good quality multi-vitamin – to provide vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iodine and choline, which are all needed for brain function.
- L-Theanine and Lemon Balm – Great for exams. Supports a state of calm without any drowsiness.
- A good quality multi-vitamin
- Powdered Greens (choose one specifically for children) – a powder providing vegetables, berries and some supergreens, to mix into food or drink.
- Magnesium– magnesium has many functions in the body, but is also known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ so is great to take in the evening.
- Flower remedies for ‘Night’ – supportive if anxious or racing thoughts are preventing sleep. Uses flower essences. Suitable for young children if these are the reasons they can’t sleep.
Come in and talk to us and we can help you find the right products for your family. Some of our products are available as testers, so bring your children in and they can try them!
Please let us know if your children are on any medications before giving them supplements.